Letters – PSAs: Stifled by Bureaucracy

PSAs: Stifled by Bureaucracy
I want to thank Adweek and Wendy Melillo for examining the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and the issue of how many “cooks” are needed to develop effective creative [Creative, Sept. 9].

I have but one question: Are government bureaucrats more qualified to craft messages than professionals whose previous work has garnered every major ad award, including the Grand Effie? Until they are, let the pros do their job.

Erin Clausen
Partnership for a Drug-Free California
Mountain View, Calif.

Wendy Melillo’s article “Too Many Cooks?” is right on target. Anyone who has managed by committee will attest to the fact that it stifles creativity and fluidity. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America’s original vision was elegantly simple: The best minds in advertising—whose work for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America already had won every major advertising award there is, including the coveted Grand Effie—would be free to continue creating outstanding anti-drug messages while federal money would ensure those messages continued to run.

Somehow, somewhere, this simple vision has lost its way due to the bureaucracy that is the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Ira Bass
Svp, director of media services
Trone Advertising
Greensboro, N.C.

Why Awards Do Matter
Fritz Stoner’s letter to the editor [Aug. 19] didn’t seem to “get” Lorraine Duffy Merkl’s article “Late Bloomer” [A&C, Aug. 12]. The subject wasn’t her clients’ success, but her newfound success as a freelancer. And yes, she cites the fact she has won awards. Like it or not, awards are the currency of creatives.

The implication in Stoner’s letter is that awards and results are mutually exclusive. Perhaps Stoner has heard of the Kelly Awards, which reward not only creativity but effectiveness as well. Then there are the Caples Awards, which honor the best creative solutions in direct marketing, an industry that lives and breathes results. Let’s face it, it’s far easier to label work that wins awards as “crap” than it is to create award-winning work that produces phenomenal results.

Steven DiManni
Svp, creative director
Hakuhodo Advertising
New York

A ‘Ludacris’ Situation
R egarding Barbara Lippert’s column, “Party Pooper: Pepsi gets caught in a pop-culture war” [Creative, Sept. 9]:

Hey, I enjoy both Ludacris and Bill O’Reilly from time to time, but Lippert missed the underlying point: We’re letting these numbers run our lives, and our businesses.

If Pepsi had looked beyond the pop-culture-at-a-glance charts in the first place, they would’ve never chosen such a stereotypically immoral, albeit talented, performer to hawk their soda.

Haven’t we lived with big research long enough to know that good numbers don’t always equal good choices? There are a lot of great acts out there that would’ve given Pepsi everything they were looking for and more. Without the tummy ache.

So not only has Pepsi maligned conservatives once again, now millions of Ludacris fans think they’re a bunch of fair-weather wimps.

Everyone’s been left with a bad, flat taste in their mouths. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see if Pepsi’s, ahem, numbers are affected by all of this.

Erich Hartmann
Senior copywriter
Young & Rubicam
New York

For the Record: Papa Murphy’s ad account had been handled by Grey, San Francisco, not darkGrey, as stated in a news item [Sept. 16].